Tag Archive | series

Shadow Hunt ,(Disrupted Magic 3), Melissa F. Olson

Shadow Hunt ,(Disrupted Magic 3), Melissa F. Olson

Shadow Hunt (Disrupted Magic Book 3) by [Olson, Melissa F.]

Genre: general fiction(adult), Sci-fi and Fantasy.
I love this series, and the sister series set in the same world. It was that one, featuring Quinn and Lex that brought me the the Old World, and let me to buying more and being lucky enough to have some review ARCs too.

I love Scarlett, she’s in a tough and dangerous world, has to do things that her heart really isn’t in, but which are necessary to protect others. It means she’s alone though, having to keep family and human friends at a distance as they can and will be used to get to her.

One of her few human friends from the early days is Jesse, and he’s a human that’s been allowed to know about the Old world because of the way he learned about it via his police job, and because Dasheil, Vampire leader for the city, feels he could be useful. Jesse is retired from the police now, but still very much friends with Scarlett and helps her when she needs assistance.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Jesse, wanted him and Scarlett to be together but through the series its never been the right time for either and they have both been in other relationships, and just remained good, true friends.

Its another exciting adventure, bringing into play characters, enemies Scarlett thought had been neutralised – or at least a truce reached with them. The attack, when it comes, is very unexpected, and once more its Scarlett and Jesse in the thick of things, rescuing those they love, and trying hard to prevent a massive tragedy and loss of life. We meet a few new characters, catch up from some from past stories and Maven, we learn a bit more about her too!
I really enjoyed this, perfect pacing, perfectly balanced and “realistic” within fantasy realms 😉 situations. The why ad hows were the usual puzzle for me, with me thinking “ooohhh…riight” when all was revealed. And the ending, Sob, just perfect.

I’m glad the way is open for more Old World adventures, I’ve grown close to many of these characters, and would love to read more from them. Molly and Wyatt, Maven, Will and Sashi, there’s so much more to learn about all these guys, plus Jesse and Scarlett of course 😉

Stars: Five all the way, fabulous finish to the trilogy. More please Melissa!

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Touch of Ice, Mary Auclair

Touch of Ice,  Mary Auclair

Touch of Ice (Dawn of Dragons Book 1) by [Auclair, Mary]

Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

I’d never read anything by this author but liked the sound of this. I really wanted to like it but…TBH it was a little too simplistic for me.
Endora, I get why she lied about not having children, what parent wouldn’t when their child’s life is at stake but I didn’t understand why she lied about Wilfrid. Or why that event didn’t actually seem to matter.
I though she was far too many times just TSTL. She’s ready to blame Aldric for everything – even while melting in lust against him…gah! I hate that. Personal gripe though, its common in paranormal reads so clearly others don’t find it an issue. She sees Wilfrid after ten years of being abandoned, no support, no help even when their child was dying and yet ignores the fact that she and the children are huge targets for bloodthirsty killers, skips out against all Aldric’s instructions to keep them safe, even when last time she did that the guard almost lost his life – and that time she just wanted some fresh air. This time she thinks Tallie ought to be able to see her dad! WTH?

It’s an OK story, better if you can get past Dora’s stupidity and judgmental tendencies. The dragon and child thing was a good touch, and I liked Aldric and his family, and the whole dragon structure. I can see how this is going to build into a decent series if you like a kind of simple paranormal romance theme. For me I need a bit more depth, but the best sellers are dominated by books like this so obviously many readers love them, even if I want a bit more substance 😉 Horses for courses, reading taste is subjective. Just because this wasn’t right for me doesn’t mean others won’t love it.

Stars: Three, OK but a bit light and Dora was a real Fail for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Dangerous Witness, Redemption Harbor Series, Katie Reus

Dangerous Witness, Redemption Harbor Series,  Katie Reus

Dangerous Witness (Redemption Harbor Series Book 3) by [Reus, Katie]

Genre: Romance

I do love Katie Reus writing, and this was another fun read. Its book three in the series, but its a stand alone so if like me you haven’t read books one and two you’ll still be able to keep up easily.

Its a classic case of the guy having been bitten once being determined not to get caught again. He should have known Darcy better though….
I love Darcy, got some great friends and she was so in love with Brooks, and he with her, so she thought. So how, just how, could he believe she’d take the money?That hurts and makes her think she didn’t know him after all. She got on with her wedding planning business in the succeeding months, and tried to move on but the hurt is there, feelings just can’t be switched off like that. I can understand how she’d feel, she must have been devastated at being thought a gold digger.
Brooks could kick himself now he knows the truth – and realises just how badly he effed up. Will Darcy forgive him? He still loves her, she’s the only one for him but can they get past his betrayal and lack of trust? It was a stupid mistake but a huge one, and one that he should never have made.
He’s got a chance now though to try yo get her to forgive him, when her business puts her in danger, very serious danger. Of course his primary motive is her safety, and with him and his friends being in the security business they’re the people to see to it, but it does give him an excuse to spend time with her without her telling him to get lost. Lets face it, that’s the reaction most of us would have at first if we were in her circumstances. We might want him back but the hurt….its not easy to get past, and a simple “sorry I got it wrong” just won’t cut it.
From then on its solid suspense, lots of action, played out in a realistic way, ( to someone who doesn’t know the realities of the security business of course!) and with some serious heat in the romance side too.

Stars: Five, a fun and rewarding romance, with some interesting suspense.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Unraveled, Whiskey Sharp 1, Lauren Dane

Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled (Whiskey Sharp, Book 1) by [Dane, Lauren]

Genre: Romance


I love Lauren’s writing, both contemporary and paranormal. This book though has left me with mixed feelings. I really enjoyed it but there are parts I’m a little confused about.

 

It felt for much of the start that I was reading about maybe a spin off book ( and hey, I did that completely unintentionally!) It seemed to me that the characters should have felt familiar to me, that if I’d read another series I’d know them – you know, how in connected books its like reading about old friends, except I didn’t know these guys, hadn’t met them before so the mix of who was who and how they connected was a bit weird til I got to grips with it. 

I loved the setting, the barbershop/bar and Alexsei’s family living next door to Maybe and Rachel. It grounded the characters, gave them a base where they acted naturally and felt very real to me. I was hoping Rada would be more of a b itch…but that’s me, love a “good” bad character…

I enjoyed how Alexsei and Maybe sparked of each other, the tension between them, Maybe’s unashamed confidence in asking for what she wants, whether its a job, food, a date. Yet when it came to Rachel she was trying to support her but actually hiding things from her, almost taking away choices in her determination to be a good sister, a solid help. There were times when i felt Maybe was a little too abrupt, a bit too in-your-face, but I guess that’s a reaction to her past, a need to assert herself. Its either knuckle under or take charge, and she’s take charge.
Alexsei was pretty controlling but not to the point he didn’t consider what others needed, what their own wants were, he had a great balance, though I understood why Maybe needed to ensure he wasn’t like her father. 

Its an interesting, steamy story, some quite dark issues with Rachel’s past attack, and the awful upbringing Maybe had, and the treatment she still got from their parents. I couldn’t help wondering – just where did that start and why? Why treat them so differently? I felt for that poor kid Maybe was.
I didn’t really see either why Rachel was considered “disabled”. Yes, she had a horrific encounter, and its left her with some kind of PTSD, but physically she seems fine, its been three years and though I understood her security fears – I think anyone would, and the lasting mental effects it seemed her parents were still considering her as just out of hospital. Why? 


It was a big, slow built to the end drama, but for me that was over far too quickly, a kind of it’s-OK-for-now feeling, but we know there’s going to be so much more. I guess that’s for book two, and hopefully we’ll see more of Alexsei and Maybe there.
I felt a bit underwhelmed though, wanted a little more concrete action for an ending even though there’s two more books to come. Its not a cliffhanger, just felt very unresolved. I was even trying to “turn” the page on my kindle seeing if I was missing some pages it felt that unfinished. 

Stars: four, almost a five, a few parts where I was a little confused at the beginning but mainly that ending stopped it 

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Drakon’s Past, N.J. Walters

Drakon’s Past, N.J. Walters

Drakon's Past (Blood of the Drakon Book 4) by [Walters, N.J.]

Genre: Romance

I missed the first two in this series, but each are stand-alone reads, though the stories are closely connected. I really enjoyed book three but this one felt a little too simplistic for me. I am intrigued by the idea of the Dragon Guard though, and hope that even though each brother now has their own lady that the series will continue. There’s much more to come out with the age old hunter enemies, and the ew found Dragon Guard organisation.

I liked constance, understood by she did what she did, families come first, amongst everyone would have done the same. I did find it hard that she pulled off what she was asked to do, and that Nic didn’t find it all all suspicious when she – well, – jumped him is the best way to describe it. Really? In the terror of threats, kidnapping, death of someone close this somewhat reserved lady wants to crawl all over him and lick him up and that doesn’t trigger suspicion?
I liked Nic, and his brothers of course, but holding a lifelong grudge against women because of betrayal was a bit hard to believe. He must have met some trustworthy ladies in that time.

The story is pretty simplistic compared to the last one and felt a little too light for me to rate higher. The solutions followed the problems so quickly that there wasn’t time to worry about things going wrong. It was a decent read, but not a great one for me, and I found myself skimming just to get to the end and finish it.

Stars: Three

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

The Rufus Spy, A medieval mystical mystery, Alys Clare

The Rufus Spy, A medieval mystical mystery, Alys Clare

Rufus Spy, The: A medieval mystical mystery (An Aelf Fen Medieval Mystery) by [Clare, Alys]

Edit: I wrote my review some time back, just noticed kindle price. Over £12 for an eBook? My experience is that prices often come down after a couple of moths so though it was a great read, I’d wait a bit before buying. 

 

Genre:  Historical fiction

I’m an occasional historical fiction reader, and this novel appealed to me from the description.
I didn’t realise it was so far into an established series though, but the book is so contained that it was easy to follow the story despite not reading the other books.
I have to be honest here – I thought this was part of another series where I’d read many of the earlier books several years back. And – its not…though both involve the same early medieval time period, a single, independent female healer, and set in the Fens in the UK ( I know the area living in the next county)
The other series is Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin and if you like that you’ll love this.

Its an excellent read, felt very real and I enjoyed the feeling of living back in historical times.
I felt I was there with Lassair, and she has some heavy events to content with in this book. I loved Jack, understood his frustration with his sheriff boss, a crooked man, out for himself not justice. Something not uncommon in that time sadly…
I’d like to read earlier books and see where Lassair became involved with him, and earlier with Rollo. I really didn’t like Rollo, found him quite selfish but had I read earlier books maybe I’d have liked him more – who knows?

I loved the slant of magic introduced, it’s very subdued but comes up at appropriate times, and was a fascinating addition that allowed the story to go further than it would otherwise, while still retaining credibility.
There’s something about those old beliefs in magic that appeals to me, and I have no trouble believing when its placed as it is here.

Lassair has a number of changes to her life here, a troubled and dangerous journey to undertake, and I get the sense her life is taking a big change.
The story kept me reading, interested to see what would happen, who was behind the murders, whether they were connected and if so how? I was wrong – actually I love being wrong, love a book that’s not a predictable read.
I was sad when a certain event happened, didn’t expect that and very unhappy for certain people at the ending. I’m hoping the next book brings a positive change.

I haven’t read any other of Alys Clare’s novels but I’d certainly like to, she can write exactly they type of story I want to read. One that feels real, is true to the time period and has me guessing who is behind events and why…

Stars: five, a great read, felt very real and I look forward to the next book.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

My Last Love Story, Falguni Kothari. Dare to Live, The Maxwell Series, S.B. Alexander

My Last Love Story, Falguni Kothari

My Last Love Story by [Kothari, Falguni]

Genre: Women’s fiction

Gosh what a book this was. Its a romance…and yet it isn’t. Its full of sadness, and yet a core of happiness persists. The characters are like-able and yet possess some very dislike-able traits, and vice versa, even those I dislike had redeeming facets. Its a real conundrum of a story and its very hard to review.
Did I like it? Yes, and yet there were parts I felt really dragged, times when I just wanted Something, Anything to actually Happen.

I felt for Nirvaan, dying far too young after a years long struggle with cancer. That’s tough for anyone to face, and yet he does it with dignity. However he’s also pretty controlling, pulling everyone’s strings to make what he wants happen. Is he being selfish? Or is he just doing what he believes is the best for those he loves? There’s no doubt for me that he loves Simi and Zayaan, but does that mean he knows what’s best for them?
Simi loves him, and yet despite the way she so obviously pushes him away now we know she also still really has strong feelings for Zayaan, perhaps still loves him too. She’s had a difficult time since her parents were killed, and still carries a heavy secret that affects all three major characters.
Zayaan, he’s something of an enigma, I can feel he loves Nirvaan, and it seems he still has feelings, strong feelings for Simi. and why not? They were going to marry at one time, until they all went in different directions.

Its a hard story, seeing Nirvaan face up to dying, being with him when he faces yet more treatment. Of course his family would give all their money – and they have lots – to have him healthy again, and try to persuade him to go to a very expensive private facility that promises a cure.
Sadly, having had cancer myself, I know too well how these ar sehole people prey on loved ones, persuade them that they can do the impossible, promise a cure that just isn’t possible. Cancer can behave weirdly, go into remission for no obvious reason and the odd occasion that happens they take credit, ignore the 99.9% of patients who haven’t been “cured”, blame their lack of commitment etc.
Gah, I’ll step off the soapbox now. It just makes me so angry that people get used when their at their lowest.

Among that sadness though their are moments of light, reminders of the happy life they all led as children,  snippets of humour, and wonderful sections like the camping/hiking trip with the seal pup. Those little touches of light lift what could be a dragging down, melancholy novel.
I enjoyed the cultural side too, where they talk about religious differences, where we learn about how they do and don’t stick with their heritage, where the food and habits are described. I love that feeling of India even though its set in US, and found this part really interesting.

Overall I’m kind of conflicted. I enjoyed reading this but didn’t love it, wasn’t gripped to the page desperate to know what happens next.
It gave me lots to think about. Would I have reacted as Simi did when faced with the same situation? Was what Nayaan did controlling, or was he just doing what he knew Simi wanted to do but wouldn’t left to herself? Was Zayaan sitting on the fence, here with his best friend and his wife, the girl he once intended to marry, when waiting back in UK were the rest of his family, and his girlfriend, who he knew his mother was expecting to become his bride? Was his mother really such a bad woman or was she just being what she felt was a good mother?
The questions raised for me spiraled long after I’d finished reading.

It’s not a book I’d reread, and there were sections that just draaagged, especially when we were seeing Simi’s thoughts. Usually I like that, gives me an idea of how a character is really feeling, but for me her internal musings became long dull monologues at times.

Stars: four, an interesting story, full of detail giving me lots to think about but at times it was so slow it was hard going, and that brought it down from a five for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Dare to Live, The Maxwell Series,  S.B. Alexander

Dare to Live (The Maxwell Series Book 5) by [Alexander, S.B.]

Genre: Women’s fiction, Romance

*sigh* Women’s Fiction – just why? Why exclude men, why shouldn’t they enjoy romance too? Many of them even write romance so why do we cut them out like this?
Rant over….

I was sucked in by the description, and didn’t notice it was book five til too late. Still, each are stand alone reads so it wasn’t a huge issue. I think though if I’d read earlier books I’d probably have got more from this, as it is its a decent read but didn’t have any magic for me and I found myself putting it aside for something else several times. Given there’s a slew of reviews from people that adore the story clearly its one of those reads where its Me not the book that’s out of step ;-).

I hadn’t realised Kody was so young, just 21, and Mack too was similar age. Somehow I’d got the idea the characters were all late 20’s early 30’s. It only matters in that for me at 21 he/they just haven’t usually experienced enough of life to be so mature in outlook, to be so decided about family, kids etc. Most guys at that age are still finding their feet, deciding on priorities ( Beer!!) I’m using a very rough generalisation there of course.
Then there’s Jessie, a little older but wow – that girl has the trails of job. Still grieving her mum’s death, who has her older wheelchair bound brother for whom she feels responsible, the financials of their struggling business and the breast cancer gene scenario to deal with. On top of that she gets even more drama heaped on as the story flows, accident, obsessive behaviour from an ex one nighter, possible singing stardom….

In a way I felt there was so many things happening here that it was hard for any one of them to really form a solid part. The story seemed to be so packed. Even Kody’s parents were multi layered and had lots going on. I often whinge about too simple, one plot reads, but this almost went to other extreme. Again, if I’d been following the series I think it would have flowed naturally, instead all these events and characters seemed to overload the romance between Jessie and Kody for me. My bad for not being observant enough, and if you’re in a similar position I’d say start with book one.

Stars: A good story but which didn’t really make more than an OK read for me though.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

A River of Silence, Susan Clayton-Goldner

Sorry for the lack of reviews this week, a vicious D&V bug hit me, unable to eat, to keep even water down at one point I haven’t turned on pc since Monday morning….

 

A River of Silence,  Susan Clayton-Goldner

A River of Silence: A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #3 by [Clayton-Goldner, Susan]

Genre: Romance, Suspense,

My third story from Susan, and for me each gets better and better, and this one is definitely my favourite. It reminds me a bit of Jodi Picolt’s writing, in the way that reading the synopsis makes me feel one thing, and as the book continues my opinions get changed. I look at incidences from different viewpoints and feel sympathy for people that I may have disliked to begin with.

I love Bryce, such a kind man, but with his own past tragedies. He’s trying to rebuild his live and adores Dana’s two boys.

Radhauser too is a man with a tragic past, and I really enjoyed seeing so much of him and his family here. I love the way Susan links up Bryce past, Radhauser past to the present incidences, and shows how what happens to us does affect how we think, behave, perceive things and other people.

Radhauser sees Bryce and like many immediately think he’s been drinking, but when he finds out Bryce is hearing impaired, sees just how deep his love is for the children he feels he can’t be guilty.

The media as ever though is baying for blood and Radhauser’s boss demands a suspect to keep them quiet. Sadly I think that happens far too often, that media publicity means the police are looking for someone to blame, not necessarily that actual guilty person. Gah, that’s my soapbox for today!

Kendra, girl of famous legal father, rich family but wants to blaze her own trail, and Bryce is her first public defender job. Radhauser has had to arrest him, though he made his views clear that Bryce is innocent and someone else to blame, but as far as the police are concerned its case closed. Radhauser continues to dig in his own time though, and to help Kendra where he can.

Its a tragic story, full of suspense, and one of those where we feel out the story, look for who’s to blame from the clues we’re given. I was convinced it was XXXXX but was wrong, 😉 and loved that. Once the full story comes out it’s so logical, so easy to see how it happened.

I love that its not a one plot story, but multi layered, there’s Bryce and the death of Skylar, and the tragedy from Bryce past, Skylar’s and Scott’s mum Dana, she’s just 20 and struggles with being a parent, her relationship with Reggie, her ex now her present once more. Then we have Bryce’s neighbour, the wonderful Miss Tilly, Bear from the diner and his son Henry and the issues they have, Kendra and her battle to become someone other than her father’s daughter, and of course Radhauser, his past loss and his current family and the problems they have. It makes for a really satisfying read, one well written and researched, one that I loved and will reread.

Stars: Five, a really satisfying read, plots that wrapped up well, that were seen from all sides and which let me make my own decisions. My favourite so far from Susan Clayton-Goldner

ARC supplied for review purposes by author

Merger to Marriage, (Boardrooms & Billionaires 2) Addison Fox

Merger to Marriage, (Boardrooms & Billionaires 2) Addison Fox

Merger to Marriage: A Boardrooms and Billionaires Series Book (Boardrooms & Billionaires 2) by [Fox, Addison]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult) , Romance

Some books I love, others not so much even though its clear other readers adore them. This is one such read.
I found the story was OK but kind of bland. Mayson was nice, her sisters were nice, Holt was nice, his friends were nice…you get the picture. His mother was a first class b itch, and I’d like to have seen more of her but…

I really didn’t feel any chemistry between Mayson and Holt, they respected each other as business individuals but that was it. No love, no lust, the most I can feel between them is a faint like, and that doesn’t work for me in a romance read. I want to feel they just can’t keep away, they have to touch, caress, kiss all the while ( well, within reason ).

I only read this yesterday and I’m having a hard time this morning actually recalling what happened. It just wasn’t a read that made it for me, although of course its perfect for others. I need drama, angst, emotions and plots that make me feel will things work out, are there just too many things against them, scenes where it’s the couple v whatever plots can tear them apart. This book, well I didn’t get any of that.

I hadn’t read book one, though they’re stand alone reads so that wasn’t necessary, but might have made some events clearer.
Its perfectly written, just the the story itself just isn’t one for me. It might be perfect for you if you’re looking for a light and easy, innocuous romance, me – I need a bit more. Horses for courses and all that…

Stars: 2.5/3, it was a story that was a forgettable read for me, but which will be perfect for other people. You choose.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and publishers

Vampire Fight Club, Larissa Ione

Vampire Fight Club, Larissa Ione

Vampire Fight Club by [Ione, Larissa]

Genre:  Romance

I love Larissa’s writing, but somehow lost track of the series after reading the first few Demonica books. Still, I’d read enough to follow this story, I think possibly if you haven’t read any you could still enjoy it 😉 Its a short, hot paranormal, set in the Demonica world.
Its not a complex story, that’s good as its so short…I don’t often read novellas for that reason, they don’t have space to let me really get to know the worlds and characters in the story, but when its part of an existing series it works for me.

I liked Lena, she’s had a tough upbringing and is now facing death but before that she’s determined to get revenge on whoever killed her brother, the one that understood her, protected her, not the two that have made it their work to torment her. With her loving father dead and now Vaughn gone she’s alone, and for her last weeks she’s going to find the killer.
That brings her in the sphere of Nate, manager of Thirst, and the cruel vicious Demon, Fade….and maybe death too soon. Of course Larissa throws in events that change what’s going to happen very rapidly, and of course there’s sex…lots of it, hot and sensual.

It’s a series that features sex demons as main characters, so its no surprise the main books have that angle, but even this short does -however it fits the general story line, and is not the more-sex-than-story issue I so hate. There needs to be a balance, and Larissa always seems to find it 😉

Stars: four, a fun addition to the series.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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